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Quick Hits

“Jim Rome is Burning”… is leaving

Everyone’s favorite Pimp-in-the-Box, Jim Rome, is leaving ESPN again. This time, he will be taking his talents to CBS. There are multiple hypotheses out there as to why Rome declined to accept ESPN’s multi-year offer to re-up. Awful Announcing believes that it has a lot to do with the highly questionable decision to have his show paired up on ESPN2 with “Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable,” (plus, check out the clip of Frank Caliendo’s dead-on impression of Rome – not necessarily the voice, but the mannerisms and inflections.) When you look at LeBatard, Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and the Around the Horn cast, it does appear that Jim Rome’s act was too mature for the World Wide Leader (tWWL). Deadspin’s hypothesis leans toward some excerpts from the tell-all history of ESPN, Those Guys Have All the Fun. Speaking of which…

Will Deadspin 3.0 become too mainstream for its own good?

Deadspin is going through a transition, as its editor-in-chief (EIC), AJ Daulerio, has received a promotion, and moving on up to lead Gawker.com. Daulerio was Deadspin’s second boss, taking over from the site’s founder, Will Leitch. It’s not that I have little faith in the next EIC. My fear is whether or not he will have the access, favor, and discretion to continue to be the blog about sports news without access, favor, and discretion. I read God Save the Fan by Leitch. (It is part of the inspiration for me to start this blog.) Deadspin started as a sounding board about sports news that tWWL wouldn’t cover due to just plain hubris, or a conflict of interest. They would take a story from The Smoking Gun, add a sophomoric joke, and let the commenters run with it. Then it was bought by Gawker Media. Deadspin still continued to thrive because amongst all the sites devoted to the various otaku out there: (Kotaku for video games; Jalopnik for automobiles; io9 for science and science fiction) DS was the red-headed stepchild, or the rude, no-filtered cousin from the hicks. The apotheosis of Daulerio to the flagship also means a rise of DS’s profile and legitimacy. Will they be allowed to post items from TMZ, or will they evolve into an entity they despise more than anything else, tWWL, or even worse, its side project, Grantland?

Bye bye Bandai

We weren’t one week into 2012, when the North American anime fandom world was rocked with the news that Bandai Entertainment’s decision to stop distributing anime and manga in North America. The company that introduced us to Mobile Suit Gundam, The Big O, K-On!, the Vision of Escaflowne, .hack//SIGN, and of course Cowboy Bebop has called it quits. Since they are owned by Namco, Bandai Entertainment is not going bankrupt. And the decision did come from Headquarters in Japan. And despite having many of their titles being broadcast on multiple American cable networks, the combination of new technology to view shows, video piracy, and incredibly bad economic decisions, inevitably doomed Bandai USA. I can’t say I’ll suddenly miss Bandai, since Bandai has been invisible to me for several years now.

Two very quick movie reviews

A mini-double feature review for you folks. First, we have “Hugo“, which I believe is Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. Everything he has done to this point has led to this 3D, family friendly extravaganza. And just as The Muppets was a lover letter to Jim Henson, “Hugo” is Scorsese’s love letter to Georges Méliès and the early days of cinema. My grade = A. The second movie is the adaptation of John le Carre’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” There are two films this year about people in important positions of power in Cold-War Era England. And if Meryl Streep (as Margaret Thatcher) is the greatest actress of our generation, then Gary Oldman is our generation’s greatest actor. A mere 127 minutes is not enough time for us to get the know the principals, or throw enough red herrings that this espionage thriller deserves. Tomas Alfredson does a brilliant job at directing this film. Especially when you consider that the 1979 seven-part BBC mini-series had to leave out material from the source novel. Sure, it’s no “Mission:Impossible”, or even cable TV’s “Burn Notice”, but “TTSS” is how spies operate in the real world. Oldman’s Oscar-worthy performance merits this film a B+ grade.

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